Wildlife, Culture and Ancient History Come Together on this Unique and Adventurous Journey
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.— WANT Expeditions – the world leader in highly personalized, conservation-oriented small group travel – brings guests to Sri Lanka, the island nation off the southern tip of India, for world-class safaris and exploration, followed by three magical days at the premier beach destination of the Maldives. Claiming the largest concentration of leopards, wild elephants and sloth bears in Asia, Sri Lanka makes for a unique safari destination unlike any other place on earth.
The Sri Lanka and the Maldives Safari begins in Colombo, where guests will enjoy beach accommodations followed by an early morning sunrise with the trip’s preeminent photographers. The group then heads south to explore the medieval town of Galle before departing for Yala National Park.
Yala National Park – the second largest national park in Sri Lanka – is an incredible combination of safari experience, pristine beaches and archaeological sites. Safari drives and close encounters take place in the early mornings and late afternoons, maximizing the opportunity of spotting some of the forty-four species of mammals and two hundred types of birds. A well-deserved siesta occurs back at camp before returning to safari roads for the second drive of the day. After spending the night inside Yala, an early morning departure loads guests into safari vehicles that will make their way toward Udawalawe National Park. Here, guests observe and photograph wildlife while driving the famous open lakeshore habitat before traveling to Bogawantalawa for a tour of a prominent tea plantation and factory.
The tour soon transitions for a look into city life, giving guests the chance to delve deeper into the cultural and historic aspects of Sri Lanka. Locations include Kandy, the historic capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and Dambulla, home to the famous Cave Temple, considered to be amongst the most impressive cave complexes in the world.
The group then travels to Sigiriya, which is undeniably the most impressive historical site of the Sri Lankan voyage. This region is rooted in amazing architectural heritage with world famous water gardens and buildings situated on ‘Lion Rock.’ Lunch is enjoyed in Polonnaruwa before the drive northwest for an unforgettable experience of travelling by elephant through the forest! After this, a short drive takes the group to Kaudulla National Park for an afternoon game drive, followed by a night spent at Lake Amaya.
The next stop on this Sri Lankan journey is Wilpattu, the least visited of all the country’s parks. Here, a traditional bush lunch and afternoon safari ride take place, ending the day with dinner under open skies and accommodations at a luxury tented camp. The following day, the group makes its way to Kalpitiya, the small, laid back village which lies at the tip of a long, narrow peninsula dominated by endless sandy beaches and bordered by the Puttalam Lagoon on one side and by the Indian Ocean on the other.
As the Sri Lankan journey nears an end, an early morning flight transports guests to the Maldives for three full days of rest, relaxation and water-based activities. Bandos Island – a resort-owned sliver of paradise – provides guests with privacy, diving, fishing, spa services and more to ensure the ultimate in luxury and relaxation.
About WANT Expeditions
WANT Expeditions is the world leader in highly personalized, conservation-oriented small group travel, connecting travelers, adventurers, photographers and conservationists from all over the world through expeditions to see the most amazing natural phenomena that exist on our planet. The company only uses local (and often family owned) business partners, practices strong conservation measures, supports protection of cultures and traditions, discourages hand-outs and encourages letting go of western ideals to experience true cultural immersion. For more information, visit www.wantexpeditions.com.